Windows, doors, and details details details…

Phew! It is definitely late summer and I am feeling a bit of that late summer fatigue. But the pressure of fall and winter is pushing me to keep going. Mostly it is a good kind of tired. A satisfied kind of tired after a day of good work for something you are passionate about. But some days the amount of details that go into building a house just overwhelm me! It is all in the details, I tell you. The little weatherization details, the artistic details, the making sure to order material far enough ahead of time so you have it when you need it details… the tiny little details that no one else will notice or know about but could make the difference between a warm, cozy, inviting, and long lasting house and one that is not. But I won’t bore you with the details… Except to say that I did have a leak in my house wrap that I am hoping I fixed but will not know for sure until I have another good rainstorm. I share this only because for any of you out there thinking about building or in the midst of building I want you to know that these things do happen. And sometimes we freak out and sit down and cry and feel like throwing up our hands up and giving up. But part of the beauty of a project like this is that you can’t give up. You can’t walk away. Not after you have put as much time and money and effort as I have into this. And so there is nothing to do but keep moving forward, problem solving and fixing the “mistakes,” learning from them, but not letting them stop you. And this builds character. A project like this builds you as much as you build it. I swear.

Ok, enough of the pep talk. Now I will share with you some awesome and exciting photos of all the progress I have made! My last window went in yesterday morning and it is my beautiful octagon window! The special touch of either stain glass or wooden hearts will be added later, but the window, custom made by a small company in Vermont is in! And I couldn’t be happier with it.
Can you tell how pleased I am?
So Much Light inside! I love it!
And it opens!

The other big news of the last month is that my door is in!! A beautiful, solid wood door that I bought for $70 from the Ithaca Re-use center and lovingly sanded the paint off, re stained it, and built the door jamb for and then hung in my door opening! It was quite a project, and I am still perfecting the white oak sill for the bottom but I am very happy to have this door in. Most people get pre-hung doors, that come with jambs and everything. I fell in love with this door but knew it would be a project to get in. But I have to give a big thanks to my friend Barry Segal who took on this project with me, going to the hardware store to find the right hinges, helping me figure out how wide and how tall the jambs needed to be, and making a creative router jig to help me route out the spaces for the hinges. And then of course he helped me hang it. And now I have a door that swings shut with such a satisfying *Click* and I even have a key to lock it with!

Sanding the paint off
Sanding the paint off
And hung in my house! (there were a lot of steps in between sanding the paint off and getting it hung, but I won’t go into that now)

Lastly, I want to share the two timber frame style braces that I put on the back of my tiny house, made from some donated white oak I received from a friend:

And they are good and strong too!
Just to make sure both John and I hung on them together 😀
Thanks again for all you support and I hope you are enjoying watching this journey unfold!
For the complete photo journey check out my facebook album


  1. I love the photos, especially the one with you and John hanging out! It’s all about the process and the learning that happens meanwhile. Then, after 10.000 hrs, you are a master of the craft and can do it all with your eyes closed. Until then, keep your open mind of a novice and stay alert. To me, what you are doing is a miracle, a wonder way beyond my capacity. When are you going to make us a pantry shelf? I so wish we could hire you instead of ….. you know what I am talking about!



    1. Thank you mom! Yes, it is indeed all about the process. And so much learning and character building is happening 🙂 And I guess I did say this was my graduate level course in building, haha. Well, when this huge project is done, maybe I will build you a pantry shelf. Or maybe I’ll build you guys a house in Ithaca ❤


  2. Dear Miwa,
    WOW! We love your windows. And of course WE LOVE YOU ! Like you – they are creative and compelling. What a wonderful aesthetic solution.
    Your proud grandparents.


    1. Thank you grandma!! I really appreciate that. Aesthetics matter to us artists, you know 😉 and I value and respect the feedback of my creative and compelling grandparents!! I love you too!!


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